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Tuesday Tip: Photographing Your Designs

I am not a great photographer but I love taking pictures and I love the challenge of taking photos of my designs to help them look as good as they can to the buyer. 

You read about it all of the time in the forums, blogs and online articles about how important it is to take good if not great photos of your products.  It's crucial that you have a picture of what you're selling, even more crucial is that you have a photo that makes your product look good.

Yeah...easier said than done right? 

Well like I said, I'm not an expert but there are few things I do know that I can share with you and I found this wonderful tutorial yesterday on how to make your own photo studio right in your home.  I will attach the link at the end of this blog post.

What I've seen to be the biggest issue with photos is blur.  A sharp clean photo is crucial.  It's more important than staging.  There are three factors to consider for a clear focused photograph; auto focus (AF) lighting and a macro setting for close clear shots.

 I took this photo with an Olympus digital point and shoot in my backyard.  If I can do can you!

Let's assume that everyone reading this has a digital point and shoot camera, nothing fancy.  If you have a DSLR, that is awesome but I will assume that if you have a nice camera then you don't need this information and you could probably teach me more than I know. 

Grab your camera and see if it has a macro mode.  It should, if you can't find it, look in your manual or Google your camera's information to find out if it comes with a macro setting. When you find it, turn it will see a little flower on your screen when it is on.  Next, turn off your flash if you are taking an indoor photo and set your camera to auto focus.

Now take you design or product and find the well lit area of your home or better yet if the weather conditions allow for it, go outside to take your photo. 

For indoor photos find a room or area with the best natural lighting, place your product as close to the light source as possible.  If this is a window, try to keep the direct sunlight off of it but close enough for your camera to grab the natural light.  Next, don't point the camera toward the light source, instead you should be able to position yourself between the light source (without causing a shadow) and the object you are photographing.  This way the light is on the object as you are taking the photo.  You may be capturing the photo at an angle or from the side a bit, but this is fine, for now your getting the light.
With macro setting on, aim your lens at the object, press the shutter button lightly so the camera will preform the auto focus and click.  Then do it again, and again. Practice this every chance you get until you get it right.  You will begin to see a dramatic difference in your photos.

Here is an example of a photo taken indoors in front of the window facing the east.

If you do decide to take the photo session outside, it's best not to be in the direct sun and not in the shade...are you confused?  What I mean is don't be in under the trees where it's dark, take your photo in the area outdoors that has the best indirect sunlight.

Here is a fabulous tutorial on how to create your own photo studio in your home with things you already have in your home.  I can't wait to try this especially with the winter months ahead of us when natural lighting is not always something we can depend on. 

Next week we can look at staging...I'm not an expert at that either.  But maybe some of you are.  If so, please leave your tips and suggestions in the comments so we can all learn from you. 

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